As good as our initial week went I'm happy to report week two was just as (if not arguably more) successful. We broke our personal record (twice), and collected $120 (from complete strangers) for cancer research. If that's not a good week I don't know what is.
Weekly Miles: 210.8
Total Miles: 339.6
Day Seven- 32.7 miles: Gambler’s Point to the Baldin Paper Company. Getting into town is always cause for celebration, and this time was no different. It took portaging around two dams, but it was worth it as we spent the night in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. We skipped one of those fancy motels, and camped out right next to the city’s library. Also here is where the water starts to get more brown (or is it browner?) with each passing mile.
(Yuck. And it's only going to get worse)
Day Eight- 16.9 miles: Baldin Paper Company to Blackberry Campsite. A late brunch and a trip to the grocery store kept us in town until 3 pm. However, our procrastination paid off as we stumbled across the best maintained campsite thus far. We were perched on top of an embankment with one heck of a view, and cooked couscous over an open flame.
Day Nine- 21.8 miles: Blackberry to Jacobson Campsite. Naturally our best day of the trip was followed by our worst. From almost the moment we left camp the rain started, and it never let up. I'm not a fan of getting soaked, but even I had to laugh when I noticed the ankle high puddle forming in our canoe. If that wasn't enough I'm pretty sure we found the buggiest campsite in all of Minnesota.
Day Ten- 35.1 miles: Jacobson to Sandy River. You can't keep a good group down forever! At the time this was a personal record (but now it seems so puny), and it dropped us at a site run by the Army Core of Engineers. The area (which cost us $18) had showers, power outlets, and even campers who were eager to feed us once they learned about our trip (thank you again if those people are now reading this). The whole experience was worth going a mile off the Mighty Sip to get there.
Day 11- 27 miles: Sandy River to Willow River Campsite. Nothing too exciting to report here unless you count our first major thunderstorm while we were still on the river. One mighty crack sent us scrambling into a swampy forest. But after a 30 minute wait (and a thorough tick check) we were back on our way.
Day 12- 44.2 miles: Willow River to Lone Pine Campsite. Talk about a personal best! This was the farthest we've gone in a single day, and for our efforts we were rewarded with a campsite maintained by the Department of Natural Resources. Too bad it seems the budget cuts are already in full swing because this was less than a pristine campsite.
Day 13- 33.1 miles: Lone Pine to Kiwanis Park. Hooray for city living! We dropped into Brainerd, Minnesota and for the third stop in a row the NQLC crew sought out a pizza place (which this time was the only restaurant within walking distance).
A Look Ahead: We’re set to begin Minnesota’s map of 5 (of 9) which will take us past the Camp Ripley Military Reservation.